Gildan Rolls out Mobile App to Digitalize Grievance Mechanism for Factory Workers

Jul 7, 2022 1:00 PM ET
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With an ESG journey spanning over two decades, Gildan is more than familiar with what it takes to keep up with and advance labour and environmental standards in the apparel industry. Gildan’s ESG practices are based on respect for the human rights of its people, which includes worker health and safety, their overall wellbeing, freedom of association, and more. With a vertically integrated supply chain, and oversight over its facilities and operations, Gildan has the ability to directly implement change that positively impacts the lives of its factory workers. Committed to maintaining best-in-class ESG practices and ensuring its workers’ human rights, Gildan has started to digitalize its facility grievance mechanism process to provide an open channel for factory employees, and for management teams to respond to them efficiently.

"As a vertically integrated apparel manufacturer, we directly employ the vast majority of our factory workers, allowing us to make sure that each employee’s voice is heard and their opinion respected,” says German Reyes, Director of Global Social Compliance at Gildan. “For years now we have tracked employees’ grievances through our well-monitored suggestion boxes, as well as our other grievance mechanisms such as the Ethics and Compliance Hotline managed by a third-party. Last year, we decided to step it up and go digital by rolling out a mobile app that would allow us to continue doing just that, but with additional benefits such as ease of access for employees, and being able to identify, respond to, and track grievances in a more timely manner.”

Piloted in two Gildan facilities in Honduras and Nicaragua in 2021, the app has already garnered favourable reviews among employees. Digitalizing the communication channel between employees and management has empowered employees to provide more suggestions, share more ideas, and ask more questions – a win-win situation for both workers and Gildan. “What I like most about this app,” continues German, “is that it allows workers and managers to understand one another better, build closer relationships, and find solutions to problems collaboratively and efficiently.”

As the pilot program continues to be successful, Gildan plans to roll out the initiative to other of its facilities, facilitating employees to speak up confidently about their grievances. “Gildan has always respected workers' voices and the importance of being heard, and going digital with our grievance mechanisms allows us to elevate that further so that we can continue to provide a great work environment for all of our employees,” finishes German Reyes.

To find out more about Gildan's ESG practices click here.